> Elvis By Alfred Wertheimer

In respect of Alfred Wertheimer passing on, we look at his life with Elvis, and his photographs of the cultural icon...

According to Alfred Wertheimer, there was a bit of luck when he became Elvis Presley’s photographer. Wertheimer’s fellow Cooper Union attendee and studio mate Paul Schutzer would pass on other work to Wertheimer because of his devotion to Life Magazine, and this provided the opportunity on March 12th, 1956 when the head of PR from RCA Victor, Anne Fulchino, called to ask him if he could photograph Elvis Presley on the Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey Stage Show.

“Elvis who?” Wertheimer was unfamiliar with the name, but he took the assignment. The 21-year-old American singer had only recorded a couple of songs and nowhere close to being “the King of Rock and Roll”. Elvis had come from the South to New York to introduce his music, which was a never-before-seen merge of blues and rock n roll, to a wider audience. And from there on Wertheimer documented pivotal moments, in intimate photographs, of this force of a man in that brief time he began to rise to the cultural icon he’s known to be.

These intimate photographs of Elvis Presley by Alfred Wertheimer marked the history of photography as he took the realism of the 20th century from the “down and out” and applied it to the “up and coming”.


source: The Wertheimer Collection;

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